Thursday, November 13, 2014

Car Movies I never knew of: "The Yellow Rolls-Royce" -- 1964

See this great clip on the film at Youtube:

On a flatbed lorry driven in the streets of London, a motor car is under a grey cover with the initials RR. The car is first purchased by Charles, Marquess of Frinton (played by Rex Harrison) as a 10th wedding anniversary present for his French wife, Eloise (plaed by Jeanne Moreau). Frinton is British Under-Secretary of State. The marquess is a longtime horse owner who has his heart set on winning the Ascot Gold cup. This year his horse, named 10 June (his wedding anniversary date) is the favourite and does indeed win. However, his elation is blighted when he finds his wife with her lover, his underling John Fane (played by Edmund Purdom), in the back of the Rolls with the shades drawn. For appearance's sake, Lord Frinton will not divorce his wife, but he returns the car.
20,023 miles later, Italy — The Rolls, according to G. Bomba, owner of the Genova Auto Salon was “owned by a Maharajah, who lost his money at the San Remo Casino.” The Rolls is purchased by American gangster Paolo Maltese (played b George C. Scott). He is touring the sights of Italy with  Mae Jenkins (played by Shirley MacClaine) and his right-hand man and driver, Joey Friedlander (Art Carney). When Maltese returns to Miami to take care of some unsavory business, he leaves Friedlander to chaperone Jenkins. Friedlander turns a blind eye when she falls in love with handsome young photographer (Stefano) she had met while still with Maltese. Upon finding Jenkins and Stefano in the back of the Rolls with the shades drawn, Friedlander walks away. But he later shows Jenkins an eight-day-old American newspaper headline, Bugs O’ Leary Slain—Police Claim Gang Warfare, that was Maltese's business in the United States. Although in love with Stefano, Jenkins reluctantly leaves him, telling him that it was just a fling, to protect both of them from possible reprisal from her lethal boyfriend Maltese.
Trieste on the Yugoslav border – the year, 1941 — The Rolls is in a repair shop. The car exterior is filthy with OCCASIONE (Second-Hand) painted on the windscreen. It is bought by Gerda Millett (Ingrid Bergman), a bossy, wealthy American widow touring Europe. Just before the German invasion of Yugoslavia, she encounters patriot Davich (Played by Omar Sharif)) who commandeers her automobile to sneak into Yugoslavia, hiding in the boot before the border crossing. Along the way, these two very different people fall in love. After surviving an aerial attack, she insists on driving him to a partisan camp in the mountains and makes several trips to pick up more villagers and deliver them to the camp. She wants to stay and help repel the invaders, but Davich will not permit it, saying it is not her fight. He tells her to go back to America and tell people what she has witnessed. The car is seen being unloaded from a cargo ship in New York. During the end credits, it is seen driving along an expressway, passing beneath a road sign reading I-95, George Washington Bridge, Bronx – Next Right.

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